By Millie Chen
Freestyle Photographic Supplies is hosting their annual student exhibition of fine art photography from May to July 18. The event includes works from East Los Angeles College, represented by Juliet Lai, Amber Brown and Eric E. Franco.
Many other institutions also have their photographs displayed in the gallery. The purpose of this exhibition is to show support for student photographers. This is their 8th year hosting the student exhibition.
Senior Vice President in Sales and Marketing, Patrick Dellibovi, who is also manager of the store, organizes and coordinates the exhibit. He has been working there for about 12 years now. He also has the Freestyle team members decide on how they want to hang the photographs in the gallery. Most of freestyle customers are students.
The goal of the store is to have affordable supplies for students. Dellibovi said he understood how difficult it is for students to find affordable supplies.
One of their regular customers, John Kim said, “I always noticed that they were more generous compared to most stores when it came to student discounts.” Kim, who is also a freelance photographer, admired Lai’s work “Teampall Bheanáin, Irishmore, Ireland.” He explained how he liked the contrast. Lai’s photograph was shot in black and white, and was focused mostly on landscapes.
Kim critiqued Franco’s “Balon de Plata” as a style that was different compared to Lai. Franco mainly focused on the texture in photograph. He photographed an action shot of a shoe and a soccer ball in front of a wall.
In order for students to have their photographs displayed in freestyle’s exhibit, teachers from different schools have to select a few of what they consider to be the best pictures from their students.
Dellibovi explained that there are no restrictions, whether it may be nude, or even provocative. He considers photography to be art and said, “Art is meant to be subjective.”
The exhibition room used to be a dark room. They only displayed pictures that were processed from the dark room before, but as technology advanced, they started accepting photographs processed in more varieties, such as digital, or Inkjet. Freestyle would also arrange Lith printing and Inkjet Seminars at different schools to teach students specific programs.
Freestyle Photographic Supplies employees see celebrities every so often come into their store. They have famous photographers like Sally Man who buys supplies from them. They used to work with the technical advisor Gene Nocon, from Ilford Company, in stocking up some of their photography supplies.
They hold many other exhibitions throughout the year. Dellibovi mentioned that everyone on the staff of Freestyle Photographic Supplies were all photographers. They hold an annual Employees’ exhibition, which will be coming up this August.